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Socius24: Empowering Businesses with Optimized Blue Yonder WMS Implementation and Performance

Socius24, an esteemed alliance partner for Dispatcher WMS Sales and Services, specializes in enhancing the implementation and optimizing the performance of Blue Yonder (formerly known as JDA and previously RedPrairie, initially LIS) Warehouse Management Systems for businesses. Their expertise enables companies to improve their overall operational efficiency and maximize the benefits of their WMS.

During the interview, Craig Jones, Managing Partner and Executive Director, highlighted how Socius24 delivers tangible value across various levels, spanning from the end consumer to the warehouse floor, to the boardroom. He emphasized the comprehensive reach of Socius24’s services and the impact they have on different aspects of a business’s operations.

Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader to your current position at Socius24. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?

I changed professions in the late 90s – from ventilation engineering on offshore oil and gas rigs to Supply Chain, which was a bit of a quantum leap. Working in warehouse management software was quite a contrast but one I quickly found fascinating. Initially I started in the product development team, growing Partners and new territories around the world.

Over the next seventeen years, I worked in Partner development, ran the pre-sales department and the project delivery division, travelled the world extensively, set up new businesses and implemented WMS solutions.

At a corporate merger, I and others were made redundant and decided to use my broad skill set to set up Socius24. That was in 2013, and from a team of two, Socius24 has grown from strength to strength, establishing ourselves as an important cog in the Blue Yonder Partner ecosystem wheel.

Tell us about your company and its mission and vision; how does your company thrive towards enabling advancements in the ever-evolving logistics and supply chain niche?

Socius24 was incorporated in 2013 by two former Directors of JDA/RedPrairie, myself and Ray Williams. Its purpose was to implement Blue Yonder Dispatcher WMS on behalf of Blue Yonder – which is something that we do very well. We’ve been the Blue Yonder EMEA Selling Partner of the year five times in the last nine years. I’m proud to say we recently won the award again, for the third year on the run.

We’re an unusual selling partner because of our depth of knowledge and experience in the implementation of WMS. We worked extensively with Dispatcher WMS (Ray led the original product development, and I managed Services and Alliance) and many of our current employees were involved in developing and delivering the product too.

All of this means that we’ve been able to take our collective depth of experience, analyse what the industry needed next, and create our own leading-edge software: an agnostic eBilling application that works with 3PL warehouses, and a User Services Portal (USP) that augments and enhances the BY Dispatcher WMS.

Enlighten us on how you have been impacting the logistics and supply chain industry through your expertise in the market.

Not long ago, we counted up Socius24’s collective experience in the industry – between all of us we’re looking at a total of around 250 years. Which obviously is a totally academic number, but it does show quite how long we’ve been doing what we do – and how many of us have spent most of our careers in Logistics and Supply Chain.

We’ve installed and supported over 120 customers in the last 10 years, and we’ve helped all of them make the most out of the software we supplied to them. The collective impact of those 120 companies on the world-wide Supply Chain is huge.

Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.

We like to work with people we trust – trust and loyalty are huge cultural factors for us. We obviously have deep industry experience, but what makes the difference for us is the equity of goodwill that we’ve built up over the years. We are really proud of the quality of the relationships we have with our employees, our suppliers, our partners, and ultimately, with our customers.

Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you advancing towards technological innovations to make your solutions resourceful?

Socius24 were early adopters of mobile technology, and we used it to develop our User Services Portal (USP) app. USP was designed to extend the visibility, mobility, and functionality of the BY Dispatcher WMS. It does this by using mobile technology. We created software that runs on any mobile browser. In real life, this means that the user can take functionality that was previously limited to the office out onto the warehouse floor – which is a huge advantage when it comes to error reduction and increased efficiency.

What, according to you, could be the next significant change in your sector? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?

I think that the public only really became aware of the concept of supply chain when the pandemic hit. Up until then, it’d been mostly invisible to anyone who didn’t work in the industry. Although obviously, there have been other factors that have caused disruption since then, not least the invasion of Ukraine and global supply chain issues and product availability.

I see an increased need for contingency planning and flexibility. Warehousing has evolved over the years, and while ‘just-in-time’ methodologies have been great for optimisation and efficiency, they do leave the supply chain exposed if things don’t go exactly to plan. I think the future needs to involve more ‘What if’s’ so that we can identify possible scenarios and plan for them.

We’d like to think that we are doing our part through our eBilling solution. Companies are starting to be more strategic about where they keep their inventory – often storing it in 3PL warehouses closer to multiple final destinations. 3PL warehouses are a growing trend, and our eBilling Solution is at the leading edge of it.

Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for Socius24?

When Socius24 was incorporated, it was to fill a need within the UK. We’re now being approached by companies from all around the world, which means we’re starting to work a lot more internationally. I see more of that in our future.

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the dynamic logistics and supply chain industry?

This is a fantastic industry to work in, and I’ve found that quite often, once you’ve been in it, even if you leave, you’ll come back. The people are great, the work is interesting, and you can see the difference you make. I have absolutely loved working in this industry, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The opportunities are endless.